Seven years ago, when I became engaged to my now-husband, Marcus, I took him back home with me to Trinidad & Tobago to meet my parents for the first time, as well as participate in my country’s legendary Carnival. On Carnival Tuesday, as we were dancing in the streets, I said to him smugly:
“See how lucky you are to marry me? You get to visit my country and enjoy fabulous festivals!”
“Ah yes,” he agreed in his English accent, “but one day soon, I’ll take you back to my dad’s home in Gloucester, where we can go to the Cheese-Rolling Festival!”
I looked at him strangely, and attributed his odd response to the hot sun. Cheese-rolling festival? Jeez. Clearly, he needed to lay off the rum.
Turns out, the Gloucester Cheese-Rolling Festival is quite famous: according to MSNBC.com, “In a logic that defies reason, participants of this festival race down a vertiginous hill in pursuit of a 7.8-pound roll of cheese.”
Amazingly, this isn’t even the weirdest festival out there — you can check out some of the other oddball festivals around the world here. And let it be said now, I’m heaving a big sigh of relief that my Marcus is from a small town in England, rather than a small town in Spain, where revelers at one particular festival “parade around town and whip the townspeople, while a cow masquerader runs amok in the crowd.”